Entries by Jim Carter

A short guide to MySQL database optimization

MySQL is a very popular open source database, but many install it and forget about it. Spending a little time on MySQL database optimization can reap huge returns … In this article, I want to show you a couple of the first places you should head, when you need to pinpoint bottlenecks or tweak the […]

Removing support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1

TL;DR For security reasons, it is best practice to disable TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1, but before you do this you may need to weigh up the risks to traffic from old browsers. After disabling TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 any visitors using old browsers won’t be able to access your site.  If you are […]

Exploring character encoding types

Morse code was first used to transfer information in the 1840’s.  As you’re probably aware, it uses a series of dots and dashes to represent each character. Computers need a way to represent characters in binary form – as a series of ones and zeros – equivalent to the dots and dashes used by Morse […]

Python 2 will go end of life on 01 Jan 2020

Quick Public Safety Announcement, Python 2.7 goes end of life 01 Jan 2020.  This is the end of the road for Python 2.x – there won’t be a version 2.8. This means any Python code that’s still on 2.x needs updating to Python 3.  Any code that isn’t moved over won’t receive security updates so […]

Tripwire – How and Why

Open Source Tripwire is a powerful tool to have access to.  Tripwire is used by the MOD to monitor systems.  The tool is based on code contributed by Tripwire – a company that provide security products and solutions.  If you need to ensure the integrity of your filesystem Tripwire could be the perfect tool for […]

What are Status Pages?

A status pages allows a supplier of a service to let their customers know about outages and issues with their service.  They can be used to show planned maintenance and can hook into e-mail or other update methods but typically they are a website firstly.  Status pages are great; they make things easier for everyone […]

Hackathon – Image Recognition Slackbot

Our internal hackathons give us extra opportunities to play with software and carry out quick projects we can’t usually justify sinking time into. A while ago we built our Slackbot, it’s a bit of fun, from providing inspirational quotes to tracking who’s made the most cups of tea. It’s well on it’s way to doing […]

PHP 5.6 will go end of life on 31 Dec 2018

Quick Public Safety Announcement, PHP 5.6 goes end of life (EOL) on the 31 December 2018.  This means that known security flaws will no longer be being fixed so any sites you have running on it will become vulnerable, hence it is important you update them to a newer version. We recommend updating to the […]

How to set-up unattended-upgrades

Making sure software is kept up to date is very important.  Especially when it comes to security updates.  Unattended-upgrades is a package for Ubuntu and Debian based systems that can be configured to update the system automatically.  We’ve already discussed manual patching vs auto patching, most of this post will assume you’d like to set-up […]

How will Debian 7 end of life affect me?

On 31st May 2018, Debian 7 “Wheezy” reaches end of life (EOL). We recommend that you update to Debian 9 “Stretch”. Over time technology and security evolves, new bugs are fixed and new threats prevented, so in order to maintain a secure infrastructure it is important to keep all software and systems up to date.  […]